Breakwater

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Summary

A long time ago, in the Kingdom of Cordelia, a king placed a curse on mermaids, preventing them from speaking unless a human guessed their name. The king claimed mermaids were nothing but sirens of death and spreaders of lies. However, there have been those who disagreed with the king, including his descendant, Prince Logan Conway. Logan never intended to voice this opinion outright, especially because his father was a staunch hater against mermaids, but one decision will change all of that, and he must choose between what is easy and what is right to help a mermaid that saved his life.

Status:
Excerpt
Chapters:
4
Rating:
5.0 1 review
Age Rating:
18+

Chapter I

"The most beautiful stories always start with wreckage."
~Jack London


The sword tip pressed against Logan’s throat, threatening to slice it open. His opponent smiled victoriously down at him, asking, “Do you surrender, Your Highness?”

“Never!” Logan replied, forcing himself to stare down the dreaded Pirate Laurel.

“It’s just you and me, and you’re unarmed.”

“Actually, it’s not just him,” a girl said, the tip of her sword brushing the back of the pirate’s neck.

“Ah. Felicity Coventina.” Pirate Laurel smirked at Logan. “I see your girlfriend is here to rescue you. Not very princely, if you ask-”

“She’s not my girlfriend!” Logan snapped as Felicity simultaneously, and slightly more flustered, said, “He’s not my boyfriend!”

“Whatever you say.” Pirate Laurel whirled around and struck out against her new opponent. Felicity ducked in the nick of time, rolling to the side and leaping onto her feet, placing herself between Logan and Laurel.

“Your Highness,” Felicity said, holding out a sword for him.

Logan pushed himself up and grabbed it, swinging it expertly. “Thank you, milady. Perfect timing as always. Shall we?”

“We shall.” The fighters lunged at Pirate Laurel, who swiftly leaped back, straight into her father.

King Mason of Cordelia chortled. “Playing pirates and princes again?”

“It’s a good thing these are wooden. Otherwise, I would’ve killed Logan ten times by now,” Laurel piped up.

Her brother whacked her with his sword. “It would not!”

“If Felicity hadn’t saved your butt, it would’ve.”

“Good thing she’s always with me.”

“Hence why she’s your girlfriend,” Laurel teased, poking Logan with her sword.

“Is not!”

“Is too!”

“Am not!” Felicity chimed in, slapping her friend on the arm.

“What’s all this bickering I hear?” Captain Coventina asked, striding over to the group.

“Nothing!” The three kids responded instantly.

“So definitely something.” He patted his daughter affectionately on the back. “Your Majesty, I came to inform you we’re reaching Mermaid Bay. I’ve instructed my men to go around it. It’ll take us slightly longer to return home, but we should still arrive in a day or two.”

“Go through the bay,” King Mason said, staring over the bow at the roc. “I want to reach home sooner rather than later.”

“Sir, with the storm on the horizon-”

“We’ll be fine. You and I are the best sailors on the seven seas, and I trust your crew to get us through safely should we not beat the storm. Continue on.”

Captain Conventina’s eyes flickered with disagreement, but he held his tongue, knowing it was futile to convince the king otherwise. Instead, he knelt down next to the kids and said in a hushed voice, “Maybe if you look through one of the portholes down below, you’ll see a mermaid.”

Giddy with excitement of witnessing such a rarity, the kids sprinted away, darting through the crewmen and dodging any other obstacles in their path down to their room. Cramming their heads inside one of the portholes, they stared at the turquoise waters beneath them. Deep below, the colorful reefs slowly passed by. Meanwhile, enormous, jagged rocks jutted out of the sea, casting their shadows over the passing ship.

“Think we’ll see one?” Logan asked excitedly.

“It’s called Mermaid Bay for a reason,” Laurel said. “They’re all over the place. The trick is knowing how to spot them.”

“Do you know it?”

“Not yet, but I will. One day, I’ll be the greatest sea captain to ever go down in history.”

“My dad always said you would never see a mermaid unless they wanted you to. Their fins blend in with the colors of the reef,” Felicity said, staring intently down into the water. “He also said they can’t speak to you unless you guess their name. It’s a curse from hundreds of years ago when a human king cursed the merfolk, believing them to be sirens of death and spreaders of lies. He thought they were abominations, and since merfolk have such different names than humans, it’d be nigh on impossible to guess their name, and therefore-”

“Have them speak to you,” Logan finished.

“Exactly.”

“How does your dad know all this?” Laurel inquired.

“My mom told him before she passed away. It’s been stories passed down in her family each generation. They also say if you toss a coin into the water as an offering, they’ll protect you if your ship goes down.” Felicity dug around her pocket before pulling out a shiny coin. Wriggling her arm out, she dropped it into the choppy water below. The kids waited eagerly, praying for a mermaid to appear. The stories they could tell and brag about when they returned home!

“Dad does that before every trip. I guess it works for him because he always returns home safely, and-” Felicity stopped abruptly, eagerly pointing to a blur of scarlet and gold racing beneath the waves. “Look!”

Unable to believe their eyes, the kids watched in a stupor as a mermaid breached the surface, flying level with the porthole. She waved and smiled before disappearing back into the waves. It took only a second for the kids to regain their wits, and all of them dug frantically in their pockets, pulling out as many coins as they could and tossing them into the water, desperately wishing the mermaid would show herself again.

Luck showered favorably upon them.

The mermaid reappeared, but her smile was no longer there, replaced by a furrowed brow, and her gaze directed itself on Felicity, causing the girl to step back. Something about the mermaid struck her as familiar, but she couldn’t place why.

Laurel and Logan stepped back with her, the latter saying, “Do you think we offended her by how much money we just tossed into the ocean?”

“I don’t think there’s such a thing,” Laurel said, although her voice betrayed her real opinion.

Suddenly, Felicity yanked the two of them back. The prince and princess stared at her in bewilderment, but upon seeing her terrified gaze, followed her line of sight. A pair of hands, shining with seawater, grasped the rim of the porthole, followed by the mermaid poking her head inside, her focus solely on Felicity.

Cocking her head, the mermaid slowly pulled herself up through the porthole, landing silently on the wooden floorboards. Logan and Laurel lifted their wooden swords and stepped protectively in front of a paralyzed Felicity.

The mermaid curled her orange and rose tail underneath her, holding up her hands in a peaceful gesture, a kind smile once more gracing her face. Slowly, she pushed back her wavy blonde hair and tapped at her necklace. She pointed at Felicity once more.

“Does she want your necklace?” Laurel whispered.

“She’s not getting it if she does,” Felicity replied, her tone edged with anger.

“Do you want her necklace?” Logan asked, lowering his sword ever so slightly. The mermaid shook her head but repeated the same action. “Do you want to see her necklace?”

The mermaid nodded vigorously, leaping a little with delight. Logan didn’t sense any impending threat from her and lowered his sword, but that didn’t stop his muscles from tensing in anticipation. He watched as Felicity cautiously stepped forward, inching towards the sea creature. Once the distance was closed, the mermaid slowly reached out for the locket and opened it. She stared at the photo inside for what felt like hours.

Hands trembling, the mermaid dropped the locket and began lifting her hands to Felicity’s face when the ship rocked violently, nearly throwing Logan and Laurel off their feet. Frantic shouts sounded from above, followed by the thudding footsteps of a panicked crew.

“Logan! Laurel! Felicity!” King Mason yelled frantically from the stairwell, just out of view from the kids. In the blink of an eye, the mermaid slipped through the porthole back into the frothing waves. The king appeared only a second later, eyes wide. “Kids! Are you okay?”

They could only nod, still staring at the spot where the mermaid had resided, unable to comprehend what they’d experienced. Who would believe them? Sharing silent looks with each other, they made no mention of the sea creature as they assured the king they were all right.

“What was that?” Laurel inquired, her voice quivering. They followed her father up to the main deck, where fat raindrops plopped onto their faces. Black skies swirled menacingly above them, and waves crashed against the side of the boat, jerking it- and everyone else along with it- violently to the side. The ship shuddered under the immense strain.

“I made a horrible judgment call,” King Mason admitted, staring in horror at the chaos before him. “I didn’t send us into a mere storm. I sent us into a hurricane.”

Captain Coventina barked orders at the crew while he manned the wheel, barely keeping the Kaiakenna straight. Felicity, Logan, and Laurel watched in terror as lightning crackled down towards the captain, striking one of the sails above him. Miraculously, it didn’t catch fire, but it forced the severity of the situation to sink into their bones.

They may not make it out of this alive.

“Kids, I want you to stay-”

King Mason never finished his sentence. A monstrous wave crashed over the ship. Wood splintered underneath the pressure, nearly breaking the top deck in half. Men were thrown overboard, including Logan. He plunged headfirst into the tempestuous waters below, rolling head over heels repeatedly, unable to tell up from down and left from right. The ferocity of the storm refused to give him a reprieve and allow him to find the surface, to find air he so desperately needed.

His body slammed up against a rock, and Logan managed to kick himself away from it with all the strength he could muster. He knew if he didn’t get away from it, he’d be torn to shreds.

Logan struggled against the current, but with his lungs about to burst, he began to lose hope. He feared his death would not come from old age or dying a valiant death protecting those he loved, but by drowning.

Hands grabbed his arm, pulling him to the surface. He gasped for air right before another wave crashed down on him. However, his savior refused to let go. They kept a death-grip on him as they once more breached the surface. Logan grabbed onto them in return, blinking the stinging saltwater out of his eyes to gather his bearings. Logan could just make out the familiar face of a petrified Felicity, holding onto him for dear life.

“How did you-” he sputtered, coughing out seawater as they treaded the massive swells.

“I- I don’t know,” she answered stupefied. “Come on. We need to make our way to the lifeboats. Your father and Laurel are safe. I- I don’t know where my dad is. Don’t let go, okay?”

“Wouldn’t dream of it.”

Carefully, the two kids navigated through the debris and rocks and waves to a lifeboat in the distance. More than once, they were forced back under, but Felicity always returned them to the surface, as if she intuitively knew where it was at all times.

“Logan!” King Mason shouted over the tempest, relief evident in his tone. “Thank god!”

His father grabbed hold of him as Felicity helped push him up. She reached out to be pulled in next when a thunderous creak ripped from the ship. Everyone looked up to see a mast falling straight for the lifeboat. Before anyone could react, a wave tore Felicity away from the lifeboat in the direct path of the mast. It crashed into her, sending her plunging into the deep.

No matter how much Logan and Laurel screamed and yelled for their best friend, nothing happened.

Felicity never resurfaced.

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